Dozens of people lined up for vaccines against monkeypox in New York City Friday as the city launched its second jabbing drive.
The queue – formed mostly of men – snaked around the side of the Chelsea sexual health clinic in Manhattan this morning.
Gay or bisexual men who have multiple sexual partners over two weeks are again being offered the jab in America’s monkeypox capital, alongside anyone exposed to a patient with the tropical disease.
But the 2,500 appointments available for the jabs ran out within minutes yesterday, as thousands hurried to grab a slot.
Health officials were slammed for a ‘technical glitch’ which allowed so many people to book slots early using an old link that by the time the first batch was released it was already full, leaving frustrated New Yorkers saying they were left with ‘zero chance’ of getting a jab.
New York now has 141 cases of monkeypox, the most out of any city in the United States – which has registered 700 infections to date.
Pictured above is the queue of mostly men waiting to get the monkeypox vaccine at Chelsea sexual health clinic in Manhattan, New York City. Appointments ran out in minutes yesterday
Vaccines against monkeypox are being offered to men who have sex with men who have multiple sexual partners in a week
They are also available to any close contacts of suspected or confirmed monkeypox cases
New York City is the first metropolis to record more than 100 cases of the virus in America
New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is rolling out vaccines against monkeypox at the Central Harlem and Chelsea clinics.
They also plan to bring in the Corona sexual health clinic, in Queens, over the next few weeks.
At a press briefing yesterday the city’s health commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan said the locations had been chosen because three-quarters of cases were in Manhattan.
New York City first in US to record more than 100 monkeypox cases
New York City became the first metropolis in America to record more than 100 cases of monkeypox late Wednesday, just over a week after its annual Pride celebrations.
The city’s Department of Health revealed it has now spotted 119 infections with the tropical disease, up by half on the same time seven days ago.
Before the Pride weekend concerns were raised that the events – which drew crowds numbering more than 2 million – could spread monkeypox.
In San Francisco officials have already linked several Pride-themed parties in nightclubs to outbreaks of the disease.
America has recorded 700 cases of monkeypox to date, with most in New York, California and Florida. No deaths have been reported.
This included about a third in the Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods specifically.
The Health Department is primarily using Twitter to tell people when jabs are available, leaving those who are not regularly on the application in the lurch.
On Wednesday it revealed another 6,000 doses had arrived from the federal government.
But residents have previously blasted these paltry tallies as ‘ridiculous’ considering the city has a population of several million.
Officials initially released 600 appointments Wednesday but, because of the glitch, they only went to people who had a link to the old appointment site stored on their browsers.
This meant these were all booked up before they were released to the general public.
Later that same day another 1,900 appointments were made available – but these filled up in just 10 minutes.
The city offered walk-ins during the first roll out of 1,000 doses, but quickly shelved them due to high demand.
Nicholas Diamond, one of those who spent hours refreshing the New York City website to get a dose, told the New York Times: ‘By following the Department of Health’s instructions, we had zero chance of getting the vaccine.
‘I am really concerned that the city, state and federal government have learned nothing from the Covid response, and essentially the burden again has been left on us to figure out how to care for ourselves.’
Announcing the launch of the roll-out, Vasan said: ‘Providing vaccine for New Yorkers at highest risk of transmission will ensure more New Yorkers are protected against monkeypox.
‘Thank you to our federal partners for providing the necessary support we need to curb transmission and keep New Yorkers safe.’
He added that the city would continue to ‘work with’ the federal government to secure further doses.
Patients are being offered the Jynneous vaccine, which is given as two doses about four weeks apart.
Experts say recipients should have some protection shortly after getting the first dose, but that they will not be fully protected until about two weeks after the second.
The jab – made using weakened smallpox viruses – is about 85 percent effective against infection with the disease.
New York City became the first major city in the country to hit more than 100 cases of monkeypox yesterday, more than a week after Pride celebrations.
Washington DC is the only other area rolling out jabs to gay or bisexual men who have multiple sexual partners at present.
Monkeypox is spread by direct physical contact with infectious skin lesions, which in the current outbreak are appearing in the genital and anal areas.
Health chiefs have been repeatedly slammed for their slow response to the outbreak, in echoes of the Covid era, and for failing to make enough tests and vaccines available for people affected.